September 30, 2007

I can't get over how concession prices here in New Orleans are so much cheaper than New York's. We went to a church fair yesterday. They have the usual gumbo, crawfish pies, pizza, beer, kiddie games, live entertainment, etc. An order of a healthy portion of french fries was a dollar. Pizza was $2.50. Local and state-level candidates running for office posted their signs all over the fair. Addison had way too much fun in the scorching, humid weather. Jindel is running for governor again. Harry Lee now has to compete for his sheriff post. I had dinner at Galatoire's in the quarter. They don't take reservations for the street-level dining room. We waited at the bar for over an hour. One of the waiters said we had the best looking dates in the house. I wanted to tell him that those ladies are my sisters and that one is available if he is interested. I ate fresh crabmet au gratin with a side order of onion rings. I hung up on a phone call. Loan and Jenny made it to the UES okay. The restaurant sang happy birthday and applauded. My name was Todd. There were three other birthdays as well. We were too lazy to carry the leftovers. We walked to Le Phare, which resembled a typical bar on the east side. The old folks, including me, left when Chang's crew came. Sushant dropped us off at the Marriott to pick up the car. I had trouble sleeping because of a pounding headache. I woke up and rushed to 1341 King Henry Ct. just in time to see Addison wake up. I will have lunch today with my family at our usual joint--Hoa Hong 9.

September 29, 2007

Julie still doesn't have her internet up. A.B. wants to use the Sprint card because it is under warranty. They have been going back and forth for some time now. Addison spoke jibberish to Di Chang when he woke up from his nap. Dad was stunned to see Chang up close and personal. He thought she was Melanie. Today I am 30 years old. Thank you to all who wished me happy birthday!

September 28, 2007

Alexis thinks s(h)e is Alex. I still see Judith Light as Angela Bower. I don't think she ever played any other role on TV other than Tony Danza's boss. I liked how Betty asked her sister to help with dinner. It was a shocker! Meredith only wants Shepherd because of the other "girl from the bar". I liked the "zoolander" comment on "Survivor". Melanie, get over yourself. Nobody wants to talk about you on here. Mary, what's up with H-town?

September 27, 2007

My flight from LGA to MIA was delayed for an hour. We actually sat on the runway for an hour before taking off. A combination of stormy weather in the south and a long line of planes waiting to depart LGA caused the delay. I was afraid I would not make my connection from MIA to MSY. When I arrived at MIA, I learned that the flight to MSY was also delayed because the plane did not arrive on time. I had three seats all to myself on the last flight. I forget that the weather in New Orleans is very humid. I surprised my mom this morning. She had no idea I was coming. She made me banh xeo. I also ate some leftover fried bananas. Addison helped me unpack my luggage. My parents got rid of the old bedset in my bedroom. I now have new furniture, including a dresser and night stand. It feels like a hotel. She still doesn't know that Chang is coming tomorrow. I almost slipped a couple times.

September 26, 2007

My office took me out to lunch yesterday for my birthday. My boss and I shared the birthday lunch because her birthday was a couple weeks ago. I really enjoyed Apple. It's a Vietnamese place right in the smack of Greenwich Village. Almost all of us ordered the lunch special, which was served in a bento box. The fish sauce for my vermicilli was perfect...not too overpowering and just the right sweetness. Instead of the usual birthday cake, I requested Crumbs cupcakes (white cake with chocolate frosting). Tammy did not have to cut the cake this time around. After work, I went home and packed for my trip back home to New Orleans. I had dinner with Brad at Cafe Charbon. I also observed a procedure at the VA Hospital that involved blood gushing out of a man's neck. It was very "Grey's Anatomy". My flight connects in Miami before I land in New Orleans around midnight. It's the price you pay for a $7 ticket.

September 25, 2007

I was five minutes early last night. Somehow I can't get myself to be right on time. Special thanks to Chang for throwing the whole thing together, including the "cupcake" cake. Too bad they didn't put out all 30 candles. The heat would have melted the frosting. Thank you for being on your best behavior. I cannot stress that enough. You were biting your tongue as we talked about politics. Oh, I just realized that I am surrounded by right-wing republicans! How can this be? I am the total opposite, yet we somehow get along? Today's lunch is at Apple Bom Bar.

September 24, 2007

On my ride home yesterday from New Jersey, my bus made a detour because of the Iranian president's highly secured motorcade. There were probably 20 cars. Half of them were SUV's. Two ambulances followed the SUV's. He is to speak at Columbia today. I rode on the New Jersey transit yesterday to Linden. The guy gave me a hard time because I bought the wrong ticket. It's a long story. I will explain at a later time. The ride back to the city began at Hamilton, which is more than an hour out of the city. I made it back home just in time for dinner.

September 23, 2007

It unexpectedly rained yesterday for a few minutes. I walked out of the library and was shocked to see rain. The weatherman did not mention one drop of rain. I almost slipped as I walked into the cafeteria for some Chik-Fil-A. Earlier that day, I bought a bagel with cream cheese from this Indian deli. The bagel was not fresh at all. Maybe there were no bagel deliveries because of Yom Kipppur. Speaking of which, my barber closed his shop yesterday. I think he is a Russian Jew. He wished "mazel tov" to one of his customers during my last visit. The customer was getting a haircut for his daughter's wedding. I am to meet Rafael at Penn Station so we can ride the train together to Linden, New Jersey. Agnes and her family will pick us up from the train station. We will then drive for almost an hour to Gene's house. My first batch of cookies did not poof up. It remained flat for some odd reason. The second batch was perfect. Have you noticed that some taxis have painted flowers on their hoods and trunks? Well, it's part of the city's project to have all yellow cabs painted with flower decals by Fall 2007. It is to commemorate the 100th anniversary of New York City's first motorized taxi. "Garden in Transit" is the name of the project. For now, cab drivers voluntarily drive to Union Square to get their free flower decals created by local artists.

September 22, 2007

I tried Pinkberry last night. I had the original flavor with mochi. My suggestion is to mix the mochi in the ice cream. Do not eat the mochi by itself because there is a bit of an after taste. Ten people stood in line ahead of us as we waited to order. When we left the place, there were approximately 30 people in line. I will try the mango topping next time. I'm off to Bobst today to read the Gleim book. I'll make a pit stop at the only Chik-fil-a in Manhattan. It is conveniently located in one of NYU's dormitory food courts. Later tonight, I will bake a couple batches of cookies.

September 21, 2007

I missed the season premiere of "Survivor: China" because my tutor was late. She got stuck on the Queensboro Bridge. I practiced reading Chinese characters while I waited for her. Brad, I'm glad you have nothing but good news. You have no more excuses to be nasty. Have fun fasting tonight! I finished listing my goals for this upcoming year. The goals are work-related and required from each employee. I mentioned to another co-worker that I have accomplished personal goals this past year. I am reading a book that Chang gave me. It's about a divorced woman who travels to Italy, India, and Indonesia to find herself. I just finished reading the section on Italy. I wonder if the India section will talk more about how we don't take time to take a step back and just relax. I am guilty of not walking slowly, not being spontaneous, and not savoring every bite of the rich cheesecake from Junior's.

September 20, 2007

I saw the last few scenes of "Kid Nation" last night. Those kids are ridiculously mature. It was sad to see the 8-year old go home. He missed his family. Did anyone hear the different regional accents? Of the four council leaders, one came from the south and one was British or Irish. I'll try to catch the entire episode next week. Tonight is the season premiere of "Survivor". They will be in China this time around. I hear that it may be the last season for the show. I have my cholesterol and glucose screening today. You are not supposed to eat for 12 hours before the screening. Karen and Rafael gave up this morning and ate egg sandwiches. They are going to reschedule the test for a later date with an earlier time. Larry and I stuck to the protocol and resisted temptations to eat! I forgot my collar spreads this morning. The collar looked good without the spreads because the tie has a lot more room to wiggle. I find that when I am tie-less, the shirt needs its collar spreads. If a tie is wrapped around my neck, I'll remove the spreads. I baked cookies last night. Never soften butter in the microwave for more than 29 seconds. I did it last night and my cookies turned out flat. The cookies were still good, but not as puffy as I had wanted.

September 19, 2007

I received a notice a few weeks ago from the Board of Elections announcing that primary elections will be held on Sept. 18th. As a registered Democrat in the state of New York, I have the opportunity of voting in primary elections. I went by the polling place yesterday after work and no one was there. A note on the polling place's door stated "No voting here". If voting did not take place there, then where do I go to vote? A lady came up from behind me expressing the same confusion. I guess we have to wait until November for general elections. Election notices and ballots are written in four languages: English, Spanish, Chinese, and Korean. In Texas, I think it was in English and Spanish only. I wonder how many languages are in Orange County, CA.

September 18, 2007

I am boycotting the FOX network with the exception of "The Family Guy". I can't get enough of "King of Queens". Julie made me watch this show when we lived in Dallas. There's just something about the bitchy wife and the child-like husband. Let's not forget the almost-senile dad. I just ate a bacon and cheese crossiant from the Japanese bakery across the street. I topped off my breakfast with a cinnamon roll. Exerting energy in the morning has made me very hungry. Instead of eating just a bowl of cereal in the morning, I now pamper myself with endless unhealthy treats. It's all about control, which I don't have.

September 17, 2007

I ate too much of this yummy pound cake from New Jersey. As if the pound cake was not enough, I finished off the last few pieces of donut holes lingering in the kitchen. FDR is the way to go when traveling on the east side. My afternoon power nap took longer than I expected. I woke up just in time for the second half of the Emmys. Sally Field not fit for prime time? Or that's what the Fox network felt when it cut down anti-war comments given by the Emmy Award winning actress during an acceptance speech. She won for her role in Brothers and Sisters. Here are excerpts from her speech: Surely this belongs to all the mothers of the world. May they be seen, may their work be valued and raised. Especially to the mothers who stand with an open heart and wait. Wait for their children to come home from danger, from harms way, and from war. I am proud to be one of those women. "If mothers ruled the ruled the world, there would be no..." Snip to wide shot. What was cut (some people saw it live) from the broadcast: "god-damned wars in the first place". She obviously had some harsh words for the current administration. More power to Sally and all the mothers out there.

September 16, 2007

I rode on Roosevelt Island's airtram last night. It was a pretty sweet deal. With a MetroCard swipe, you get to see the Manhattan skyline on a 5-minute ride across the East River. The tram runs every 15 minutes. Luckily, we made it to the car a couple minutes before it took off. We got lost on the island looking for building #405. The building does not exist. It is actually under construction. Instead of #405, Joel meant to say #40. It was a brisk 10-minute walk north from the airtram. I think I drank a bit too much wine. At one point, I had white wine mixed with red. Not a good combo! Rafael, sorry I did not venture out to the East Village afterwards. I needed to stay awake today to study. I found that "hotel" book at Bobst Library. I saw the protective glass walls on the upper flows that Gene talked about.

September 15, 2007

Parker Posey messed up on many of her lines. It was my first television taping of a show. All this time, I had no idea there was a film studio in Astoria. The Cosby Show was shot there as well. They gave each audience member a slice of cheese pizza. We left right after eating. I went home on the R train and connected to the 6. I found out this morning that someone created a duplicate copy of my ATM card. They tried to withdraw money from Brooklyn last night, but was unsuccessful. They later tried in Queens at a Citibank machine and took $500. I went to the bank this morning to get quarters for my weekly laundry. The bank teller told me to call WAMU's fraud hotline to discuss the hold on my ATM card. I called them and was told about the withdrawal. WAMU will credit my account within 5 business days. An investigator will contact me with any questions. It's crazy how someone created a duplicate ATM card. We are all so vulnerable to theft. If anyone needs free insurance in the state of New York, please contact me. Yes, I still have JT's remix on repeat.

September 14, 2007

Instead of watching the presidential address last night, I viewed the clip below thanks to Phuong. It is the funniest spoof ever! How would he feel if one of his daughters is sent to Iraq? Iraq is just another Vietnam. I'm disappointed that this administration has way too much power. How about going after Pakistan for harboring Osama in its lawless lands? Pakistan pretends to be an ally of the U.S. in fighting terrorism. Is it that difficult to locate Osama considering we have the best intelligence network in the world. I watched the "bourne" trilogy. Our government is capable of what we know and more. Let's get out of Iraq and let them deal with their own civil war. Occupying foreign land equals native resentment. I bought a 10 lb. bag of white rice because it was on sale. It was not jasmine rice. I was not happy with the cooked rice because of the bland taste and dry texture. I may end up going down to Chinatown to haul a big bag of jasmine rice imported from Thailand or Vietnam.

September 13, 2007

My commute down the 6 train this morning was delightfully easy with half of the city still asleep. Today is the Jewish new year. It actually began last night at sundown. I met with my Mandarin tutor yesterday. I'm having trouble pronouncing multiple third tone words that follow after one another. For dinner last night, I ate macaroni and cheese and fried chicken steak. This morning, I had an egg mcmuffin and fruit parfait. A panhandler opened the door to McDonald's. When I left the place, he was there to open the door. I felt obligated to give him my change. Congratulations, Carolyn! Chang, did you put on make-up for nothing?

This is for you, Julie! Rừng hoang đẹp nhất hoa mu tm Chuyện tnh thương nhất chuyện hoa sim C người con gi xun vời vợi Tc cn ngăn ngắn chưa đầy bi Ngy xưa nng vẫn yu mu tm Chiều chiều ln những đồi hoa sim Đứng nhn sim tm hoang biền biệt Nhớ chồng chinh chiến miền xa xăm i lấy chồng chiến binh Lấy chồng thời chiến chinh, mấy người đi trở lại Sợ khi mnh đi mi, sợ khi mnh khng về Th thương người vợ chờ b bỏng chiều qu Nhưng khng chết người trai khi lửa M chết người em nhỏ hậu phương M chết người em gi ti thương Đời ti l chiến binh rừng ni thường ngy qua những đồi hoa sim Thấy cnh sim chn thương v bờ Tiếc người em gi khng cn nữa Tại sao nng vẫn yu mu tm Mu buồn tan tc phải khng em Để chiều sim tm hoang biền biệt Để mnh ti khc chuyện hoa sim.

September 12, 2007

My dentist finished my root canal yesterday. I'm supposed to return within a month for a crown. I don't mind going to the dentist because I feel "hygenic" afterwards. Plus, you get free toothbrushes. Those come in handy when you travel. The weatherman says we will be in the low 70s this week. I think the 80-degree weather has vanished as we approach fall. When you get a chance, clean out your a/c filter. You will notice a big difference.

September 11, 2007

I feel sorry for Britney. She tried her best, but failed to put on an amazing comeback performance. Ladies, if you have a tummy, don't flaunt it! I'm not sure if that was her hair or really bad extensions. Yes, I have resorted to gossiping about celebrities. I can't help myself. Back to the books! My favorite show of all time and my favorite song (remix) at the moment...excellent combo!

September 10, 2007

Yesterday, I went to Chinatown to get some stuff for my mom. I headed back up to midtown to get the hotel key from Mel. Mel and the girls spent close to six hours at H&M. I watched the men's finals match from the hotel room. I think we'll do the men's finals next year instead of the women's match. Well, I take that back. Chang "borrowed" a book from the hotel lobby. Thalia's waiter came back with a check that included a $70 wine bottle. I cabbed home just in time to iron my pants and jackets for the week. Today is extremely humid. The protesters disappeared from Saigon Grill.

September 9, 2007

Why did I wake up at 7AM on a Saturday? I have no clue. I did my laundry, dropped off my dry cleaning, and deposited a check at the bank. I stopped by Melanie's hotel to get mama's food. The R train ran on the F track on my way back from the hotel. I climbed myself out of the stop at 63rd Street and Lexington. There were three sets of long elevators and two flights of stairs. Let's just say I was happy to see sunlight after all that work. I took a crosstown bus to York Ave. After that R-train fiasco, I ate my mom's shrimp patties with white rice. I showered and shaved. I went back to Melanie's hotel. The girls were still in the room. We ate at the street fair downstairs (literally at the hotel's entrance). Sam bought a couple dresses. Thirty minutes later, we saw Lady Liberty up close and personal. When the ferry landed, we hauled ass to get on the returning ferry. We made it! We ate at a deli near the hotel before leaving for the US Open. The women's finals match was short and fun. Henin's powerful forehand and backhand pushed her to victory. Svetlana (her first name b/c her last name is way too complicated to spell) was the underdog. Before the game, Carole King sang a couple songs along with a children's choir group from Harlem. Nosebleeders, including myself, cheered for Svetlana. She lost the championship match after two sets. It would have been nicer if one of the Williams sisters played in the finals match, or at least an American. We left the game early to beat the crowd. We rushed back to the Times Square-bound 7 train. We ate at Junior's where my name was Todd. Chang missed the older ladies flirting with the waiter. We left dinner on a full stomach. Joe gave his cap to an Irish hooker, oh wait...I meant stewardess. Instead of taking the yellow and green lines back home, we took the red line and waited 30 minutes for the crosstown bus. Yes, I woke up late this morning. It was very nice!

September 8, 2007

A bubble tea place just opened up on St. Mark's. They gave away $1 drinks. Yes, I said it. For only a buck, you can have whatever is on the menu (upon availabiltiy of course). They did not have my avocado smoothie. The girls landed at LGA okay. Their flight was delayed and heavy traffic going into the city delayed them even more. Chang and I showed up at the hotel lobby just as they were going up to their room. We even had a detour in the subway earlier.

September 7, 2007

Use the back entrance when exiting a bus! Joost is awesome! By the way, the video below has nothing to do with bus rides or Joost. It's a bit sad at first but ends on a high note. Cheers!

September 6, 2007

I now have a new routine. I go the gym when it opens up. It's so nice having the gym to myself and five other people. After the gym, I head to McDonald's for a fruit parfait. I eat the parfait at my desk as I write my daily online entry. What is up with JT's brief "interlude" at the end of a full song? I have the 2-minute song on repeat at work. Loan, I am mailing the keys today. Let's try not to lose them this time around. I have an answer to the high holidays ticket question. Apparently, you need tickets to enter the synagogue for the holiday service because of the high volume of attendees. Senator Craig should resign already and stop trying to fix things. Primary elections are upon us in the next couple of weeks. My next door neighbor remains in Long Island or at least that's what I think. I wonder if he is doing well.

September 5, 2007

Yesterday, my cousin called to let me know that her mom died. Her ailing mom had been sick for quite some time. The funeral will be held this Saturday in Dallas. Plane tickets to Texas this weekend topped off at $1,000 for a round trip. Melanie and her friends are also coming this weekend for the US Open. Unfortunately, I will not be able to attend the funeral. The last time I saw my aunt, it was at my cousin's house in Arlington. I had picked her up earlier in the week at Dallas Love. Although she was old and partially blind, she made a comment about my car. Apparently, she knew that it was a beamer and called it a chic-magnet. My other cousin and I laughed because we did not see that coming. Today I started going to the gym before going in for work. Instead of waking up at 7AM, I now get up at 6:30AM. Don't get mad at me for being grouchy. Thank you for telling me that it was a joke. I thought you guys flew to that African nation to show your support. I guess you Peace Corps folks will do anything to spread peace and love throughout the world. Just don't go to Iraq, Afghanistan, or North Korea right now. Notice the red dot representing Chengdu, China. You are well represented! Go Zhong Guo!

September 4, 2007

Why does K-town only have one bookstore? Plus, their DVD collection is very limited. With the growing popularity of K dramas and movies, the midtown district should have at least one store dedicated to DVDs. Perhaps the natives are getting their DVDs directly from the Korean peninsula. Chi San, are you enjoying the movies and dramas? They should keep you busy until the end of the year. I forgot to drop off my dirty shirts at the cleaners last Friday. I'm wearing my last clean shirt. I'm not sure what to do tomorrow morning. Today is NYU's first day of classes. I remembered my first day of class beginning at some point in late August. I guess they do things differently here in the northeast. Sandrine, I still have your bag. It's time to hit the books again. I mean it this time. I'll be back at Bobst Library in the lower level where cellphone reception is rare. John, I'm not sure why you guys care about Joseph Kabila. Don't you have to be a citizen of his country to vote? BS, give me a buzz if you need help with anything. Oh, I just realized that your initials are the same as "doctor" in Vietnamese--bac si. Racial injustice in Jena, LA? Susan Roesgen will keep you in the loop. I miss watching Norman Robinson and Susan Roesgen on WDSU. Hoda Kotb went off to CBS. Is John Snell still in New Orleans? Why does it cost $75 to attend a high holiday service at NYU? Will there be food and live entertainment?

September 3, 2007

Instead of waking up at 7AM this morning, I woke up a bit later because of the holiday. Someone called asking for directions from Astor Place to LaGuardia. After one too many connections to the airport, the person decided to cab it. I would do public transit if given the time. According to Ya-Ching and Rachel, the Open is more crowded this year. Spectators are crammed together like sardines. They say it's ten times worse than Walt Disney World. I will be at the women's finals match ths coming Saturday night. Duane Reade ran out of whole milk yesterday. I ended up getting 2% reduced fat milk. I weighed myself yesterday. In one week, I gained four pounds. Is it muscle mass or all that fat from whole milk? I think it's the latter. I'll try and stick to reduced fat milk for right now. Nate, don't laugh at me for enjoying "que huong" music. James and I appreciate the beauty of old-fashion ballads. Brad, welcome back to the city. Try the Hawaiian chips and let me know what you think. Chang was hooked after one bite. Sua, where is my perfect snapshot? Today marks the unofficial end to summer when everyone goes back to "work" and school. According to Mr. Infante, summer is officially over on Sept. 22nd. I survived my second sizzling summer in New York!

September 2, 2007

I'm not sure about going out with Chang and Sua again. However, they did get us in the bar. Oh wait...I think it was Fredy who got us in. Just mention the upstairs room. Ya-Ching, I am sorry again! To make it up to you and your friend, I will be your tour guide today. Uploading pictures is time consuming. "2042" has at least three languages. I did not expect to hear Japanese at the start of the movie. Wait, this isn't Mandarin or Cantonese... it's a bunch of jibberish that sounds like Japanese. BS, you like all that Asian talk?

September 1, 2007

Loan, I just got your message. You and Jenny are more than welcome to come. You guys will have the place to yourself. I, unfortunately, will not be here to be your "tour guide". You guys should still come because of the empty bedroom. A free airline ticket and free lodging? You can't beat that! Are cashews healthy for you? I've been quite a few from Trader Joe's. The ones from Thailand have less salt than the ones from Vietnam. Hoa, when will you have internet up? Melanie, good luck with your classes! Brad, do you need me to house sit until your return to the city?